The Communication, Energy and Paperworkers Union voted today in favour of starting a new union with the Canadian Auto Workers.

The CEP vote follows the CAW’s unanimous vote in August and completes a vital step toward creating a private sector union with over 300,000 members across Canada.

In previous posts we have talked about the plans for the new union and what it may mean for the labour movement and for employers in Canada.  There are important steps to be completed before the new union is established and running.  But a lot of preliminary work has been done and it seems almost a certainty that the new union will be up and running sometime in 2013.

There was a lot of sound and fury in the convention speeches about Harper government right wing extremists and the need to fight global capitalism.  But underlying the move to create a giant new union are more prosaic concerns familiar to employers – the need to protect and gain market share and achieve economies of scale.  Whatever the motives, if the new union accomplishes a fraction of its hopes, the change will be felt by employers.  The best way for employers to prepare is to continue to build workplaces where employees have no reason to seek outside representation.

We will continue to watch as the new union project proceeds.